Toughening Elastomers with Sacrificial Bonds and Watching Them Break

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Science  11 Apr 2014:
Vol. 344, Issue 6180, pp. 186-189
DOI: 10.1126/science.1248494

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Toughening Up Elastomers

Elastomers are soft polymer materials widely used in industry and daily life. Inspired by recent work on double-network hydrogels, Ducrot et al. (p. 186; see the Perspective by Gong) designed interpenetrated network elastomers that contained isotropically prestretched chains as the first network. Double- and triple-network structures yielded elastomers with very high strength and toughness in comparison with the corresponding single networks.